What is the difference between the 3?

There are fundamental differences between the three types of professionals. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Professionals who decide to work on their own, often find doubts about how to fit in and establish themselves in the market. There are some important differences between liberal, self-employed and MEIs.

Liberal Professional

A liberal professional is one who has some form of training and a record in a professional order or council.

According to the Statute of the National Confederation of Liberal Professions, the definition is “one legally qualified to provide services of a technical-scientific nature, of a professional nature, with the freedom of execution that is guaranteed by the normative principles of their profession”.

Some examples of liberal professionals are: lawyers, administrators, doctors, brokers, nurses, biologists, among others. The professional of this type can perform their functions independently or create an employment relationship. For these professionals, taxation is a little higher than for the self-employed.


Some of the advantages of being a liberal professional are:

  • It does not follow pre-determined hierarchies and schedules;
  • Has guaranteed labor rights;
  • Possibility of increasing productivity when you need or want extra income.


Some disadvantages of being a liberal professional:

  • Need for approval by a body or council;
  • Less possibility of flexible schedules;
  • Professional dependence on the regulatory body.


Self-employed is anyone who does not have an employment relationship and works on their own. The legislation does not provide a clear definition for these workers.

Self-employed workers can be:

  • Service provider of unregulated profession: cook, day laborer, hairdresser, salesman, among others.


The biggest advantage of being self-employed is the freedom to make choices about your schedules, projects, goals, locations.


Some of the disadvantages of being a freelancer are:

  • Instability;
  • Not having access to rights and benefits;
  • Not be represented by councils or bodies;
  • Increase in the tax burden.


Individual microentrepreneur is a self-employed professional but registered on the official category list.

In addition, there are some criteria adopted to define an MEI. Look.

  • Revenue of up to BRL 81,000 per year or BRL 6,750 per month;
  • Contracted employee who receives minimum wage or minimum wage for the category;
  • Age equal to or greater than 18 years;
  • Not having a stake in another company as a partner or owner.

Upon formalization, the MEI has its own CNPJ, can issue invoices and has access to Social Security benefits.


There are several advantages to becoming an MEI. Check out some of them.

  • Lower cost CNPJ;
  • Legal account;
  • Access to specific banking services;
  • Access to SEBRAE technical support;
  • Fixed tax rate;
  • Retirement guarantee.


As in every area, being an MEI also has some disadvantages. Check out.

  • Limited retirement;
  • Restriction of unemployment insurance;
  • Billing limit;
  • It does not allow partners.

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About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

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